After 18 years of working closely with our Swedish suppliers Tylö, the Directors of Dröm UK have been talking for a while about taking the whole company to visit their offices and showroom in Halmstad, Sweden, which is also where our CEO, Kicki Carlsson, grew up. So while the trip was mainly work related, it also gave the employees a chance to kick back and relax after a really busy few months, socialise with each other out of the office, make new friends and enjoy the delights of this beautiful Swedish town.
So 8.00 a.m. Thursday found us all at Gatwick airport eagerly waiting to board the plane to Copenhagen. From Copenhagen we took the train across the Øresund Bridge, then along the stunning coastline to Halmstad.
After hastily dropping our bags off at the Hotel, we drifted out in various groups to investigate our surroundings. The weather was gorgeous, hot and sunny, and it wasn’t long before we all found deckchairs by the river and sat down to watch some unexpected live music taking place alongside the pop up bars and cafes.
Eventually the more curious amongst us headed over the river into the town itself and found a bustling marketplace and fun fair in the central square! After a bout of shopping (had to be done), we settled in an outside bar and watched an alfresco salsa class taking place nearby!
Dinner that night, with a couple of our Tylö friends, was in a sports themed restaurant, with a bowling alley. So of course, after dinner we all headed over and had a mini competition between two teams. Obviously we let Barry, one of the Dröm co-founders, win overall 🙂
Friday was an early start as we had a full day of product and technical training to fit in. This included information about new products and packages, with most of the saunas, steam rooms and showers available to view in the Tylö showroom. The morning session culminated in a factory tour. Here we learned about, and watched, how heater elements are made, saw where steam generators were put together and tested, watched profiles being cut into the sauna timbers, learnt about the quality control process, and came away with a massive dose of warehouse envy……
After lunch we continued with some more product information then spent some time learning about the latest control panels (concept, programming, design). Then it was time to test the rooms ourselves! It was pure bliss after a hard days training to relax in the various saunas and steam rooms that we had been learning about, cooling off in between with quick dips (and dives) into the inviting plunge pool! Cheeky mojitos were served in ice tumblers, which we then used to rub over our skin in the saunas to help us cool down! Dinner was served in the Tylö restaurant, followed by awards for us all! Good students deserve diplomas 🙂
Then we went into town with Torbjorn and Anki from Tylo to sample the local nightlife! We found a nightclub which had a welcome outside bar space, and also a couple of black jack tables therefore catering for all tastes. As you may have seen in our ‘Happy’ video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj5t5g1Wxus) we have a couple of staff (well, mainly Kevin really) who can really throw some shapes and that night was no exception! So we couldn’t help but take some more videos of his dancing, where he was partnered by Jake …..
On Saturday we moved across to the Tylösand Hotel situated on the coast, which is part owned by Per Gessle, vocalist and guitarist with Swedish rock band Roxette. (http://www.tylosand.se). Tylö have been involved with the spa environment here for many years and it was our opportunity to see and experience it for ourselves. The boys headed straight for the gym while some of us relaxed on the loungers overlooking the sea. We roused ourselves long enough to sample the saunas, steam room, kneipp walk and experience showers before cooling off in the pools.
There was a fantastic foot-golf course close to the hotel, so a group went across to play. Each hole had obstacles to contend with, so it wasn’t as easy as they had first thought. Their accuracy needs some work too ….
The sun wasn’t shining when we first arrived at Tylösand, but it didn’t stop us taking some pictures of the stunning, windswept scenery. Luckily the sun came out again around lunchtime, so we could take some even better pictures – what a contrast!
The remaining group headed out for some lunch in a little restaurant on the dunes which started to fill up rapidly during the time we were there, due to visitors arriving for the ‘After-beach’ party that Tylösand host each year. It started as a concert for those heading back to the hotel after a day at the beach, to prolong the enjoyment of their day, and has developed into a major Summer annual event! So we headed out with a bottle of Prosecco to reserve a spot on the sand dunes and enjoy the music!
We all had a bit of a surprise as we returned to our rooms to change – the car park looked a bit different than it had earlier…….
All too soon it was dinner time on the last evening 🙁 And it was very, very, chilly as we took our places at our outdoor table! Once again, the food was absolutely delicious – we couldn’t fault the menus all weekend. Blankets were handed round to protect us from the breeze and maybe we were a bit disappointed that it was so cold as we had been really looking forward to the last outdoor concert of the summer that evening…..
But the moment the music started, the blankets came off (what cold temperatures??!) and the whole restaurant and hotel came to life with dancing, singing and the odd drink here and there! The group – Duo Jag – were brilliant! They sang covers of all types of songs from Eminem to Beyoncé and we quickly learnt the words to ‘The Sun is shining’ – a song none of us had heard before, but now play regularly in the Showroom! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h30CEnMdVH4
It was a very tired, but happy, group that headed homewards the following day! We are still talking about what a great time we had, and laughing at the photos, a week later!
Thank you to Kicki, Barry and Tylö for their generosity and hospitality. When are we doing it again??!